This week, Stuart Gallwey, one of four Carpenters at Mawson station for the Summer, takes us through the Christmas and New Years period of celebrations.

Christmas and New Years Eve at Mawson

As we celebrate the new year at Mawson Station, Antarctica. I would like to share some insights to station life on the festive time that has been.

The festive vibes have continued from a fantastic Christmas on station to the place to be on New Year’s Eve 2023. Welcoming in 2024 with a BBQ Dinner and drinks cooked by the expeditioners on station, the atmosphere on station is at an incredible high considering we are celebrating here without our families. Being part of this family on station is a special time that will live with me forever.

Our day consisted of relaxing and enjoying each other’s company and helping where we could with the dinner preparations to give our master chef Nick the break that he absolutely deserves.

Dinner was had with a lot of laughter, jokes and pure family vibes at the dining table. The evening was had at our Bar area where the conversations, jokes, laughter and games went on till the slim hours of 2024, with a very early morning had by few expeditioners. A darts game was had and thoroughly enjoyed and we are lucky that some darts did not end up back in Hobart by the way they were thrown. Those shall remain anonymous.

An intense battle of big block Jenga followed with a lot of energised block destructors ready to take aim at their block removal skills.  With very little swagger showing in the strategic removal and placement of blocks by expeditioners testing their balancing skills a result from their efforts will require more games of big block Jenga, as the sound of crashing blocks was evident with the very enthusiastic banter in the background.

A very concentrated doubles pool competition was also played in the background with the winners holding the table until a game was lost, the very serious and stern looks of the players faces was knife edge concentration, the fear of coming second place did not sit well with some! As the competition heated up with a lot of foul play/banter from the spectators, it was a mission to stay focused and concentrate on hitting a premium shot every time. Many players did make that crucial shot, but many players succumbed to the pressure of the outfield, playing dreadful shots of pool to create one of the most upbeat and vivacious endings to our 2023 year on station. With a countdown from those still awake to the magic number of 2024, there was pure excitement and elation from all, even a rubber chicken!

What comes with a fantastic festive season is people and family, and a really big part of all that to come together is the food we eat. The build up to our festive season at Mawson has been nothing but absolute gold class every day. Keeping all expeditioners on station in the best frame of mind, that continues with the awesome vibes and family network we have here, all comes down to our fabulous, hardest working, creative, precise chef: Nick. Thank you for all your hard work and constantly creating dishes that surprise us all every time we show to the mess to enjoy your hard work day in day out. And thank you for making sure that all expeditioners are accounted for every meal time and going out of your way to dish up meals for those that are late. The awesome station life is a testament to the work you put in Nick and we are all ever grateful for the hard work, it does not go unnoticed with the constant laughter and general happiness of all on station every day. Thank you, Nick.

Stuart Gallwey

Mawson Carpenter